The high point of the programme of The Caligari Case will be a group exhibition of cinematic art, held in the various rooms of the Solar – Cinematic Art Gallery. Each invited artist will present one work in a separate room, whose source, inspiration, resonance or reference will be Robert Wiene’s film, The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari, including all its pre- and post-history, from production to film criticism, from the biographies of its creators to its supporting materials: in short the full Caligari case.
The group exhibition primarily consists of original works, resulting from a specific approach to the gallery’s space and the influence of German Expressionist Cinema. All the invited artists maintain a relationship with one of the branches of activity of the cooperative, Curtas Metragens CRL, or even with several of those branches - either in terms of the Curtas Vila do Conde International Film Festival, the Agência da Curta Metragem or the programming of the gallery. Daniel Blaufuks, a visual artist who works with photography, video and cinema, has already been involved in the Portuguese Competition on two occasions and in Solar’s programming with the 2009 exhibition, Journeys with my aunt. Eduardo Brito has also taken part in the Portuguese Competition on three occasions and is represented by the Agência da Curta Metragem (Short Film Agency) with the films Penúmbria (2016) and Declive (2018). He has collaborated in several projects of Curtas Metragens CRL, including an artistic residency at Solar, which he will conclude next year. Rainer Kohlberger is an Austrian artist, performer and director, who has regularly taken part in the Experimental Short Film Competition since 2008 and this year will be involved in the programming of Stereo, with the performance Brainbows. Jonathan Uliel Saldanha, musician, composer and artist, took part in the programme Stereo of Curtas 2018, with a performance resulting from an artistic residency with the North American poet, musician and performer, Moor Mother, in addition to his performance at Solar, in parallel with Ruins/Rites/Runes by Ben Rivers and Ben Russell in 2015. .
Jonathan Uliel Saldanha will explore a new formula for an existing project. The other artists will present entirely new works, created specifically for the exhibition, encompassing a wide diversity of approaches. Eduardo Brito will explore a 3-channel video installation, with Curiosities of the Cabinet (each story is always a remake of another story) . Daniel Blaufuks will present a feature-length video essay, From Caligari to Jud Süss, which contrasts Caligari with its polar opposite - the 1940 film, Jud Süss, which was the fruit of extremely effective anti-semitic National Socialist propaganda. Rainer Kohlberger will present an original work, DDDM, which explores the limits of technological paraphernalia, of video and sound, but also those of the viewer’s perception, and of their physical, intellectual and emotional reaction. .
The exhibition aims to celebrate the seminal film directed by Robert Wiene and written by Carl Meyer and Hans Janowitz, a milestone in the History of Cinema, whose original full title was Das Cabinet des Dr. Caligari - Filmschauspiel in 6 akten. Filmed in 1919 at the Lixie-Atelier studios in Weisensee (Berlin, Germany), the film had its world premiere in Berlin on February 26, 1920, in the Marmorhaus cinema. The Caligari Case is thus a group exhibition that marks the centenary of Wiene's film and pays tribute to it through contemporary creation, between the cinematic image and expanded cinema. Four artists have been invited to develop and present works in this framework, in a contiguous territory to Cinema, which could also be that of the Visual Arts. The Caligari Case will establish the point of convergence between four works related to a key work of expressionist cinema, as a way to foster contemporary creation by exploring a range of infinite possibilities revolving around the original film and its resonances. It will also be a way of updating Lotte Eisner's premise in The Haunted Screen, in which she wrote: “The Expressionist does not see, he has visions” - what cinematic visions will then (and still) be possible from The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari? .
Complementary activities will include a roundtable discussion on the film, focusing on expressionist cinema and its era. Moderator Daniel Ribas, researcher, programmer and film critic, will host Abílio Hernandez Cardoso, professor of cinema, who has conducted extensive research and given lectures in the field of Cinema; António Roma Torres, film critic, author of literary works on cinema and theatre, medical psychiatrist; and Nuno Faria, professor, curator, and artistic director of Porto’s City Museum. Parallel activities, integrated in the 27th Vila do Conde Short Film Festival, will include a film-concert, in its world premiere. Commissioned to the composer-musician Tiago Cutileiro and cellist Marta Navarro, the film-concert will explore contemporary composition for instruments and electronics, incorporating the soundscapes of Berlin. Finally, there will be a guided tour, on Wednesday, July 10, 2019, in the presence of most of the artists with works on display, that will also benefit from the influx of festival-goers. .